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    A summary of what San Diego has to offer.

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  • Map It!

San Diego - Orientation

Getting Around, Basic Info,...

San Diego is one of California's larger cities and is made up of several specific districts. Read through the information below and gain a better orientation of the cirty and what is offered where within its limits.

Overview

San Diego is mellower than Los Angeles and its districts are a little more unified in spirit. Still, the gentle coastline (or, close to certain surf breaks, not so gentle) has a different feel than Sea World. The historic missions and the tranquil parks do not occupy the same space, and certain districts are wilder or calmer than others.

City Districts

Northern

Here you get history and here you get the beach. Ancient artifacts have been found in Del Mar Mesa. La Jolla is a seaside resort community with plenty to be famous for. University of California ? San Diego is here, as is that harbor seal haven, the Children's Pool Beach, and Mount Soledad. Pacific Beach is a rather wild community of surfers and college students. Mission Beach is home to SeaWorld, the unusually historic amusement park Belmont Park, and plenty of softball tournaments and bars.

Northeastern

Mira Mesa is a center of Filipino and Vietnamese culture, and military culture as well. Rancho Penasquitos is all about deserty natural glory, home to Black Mountain Open Space Park and Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Agriculture (citrus and dairy) nests further up north in San Paqual Valley, which is also home to San Diego Wild Animal Park and was the site of the Battle of San Pasqual.

Eastern

Allied Gardens is full of parks and Mission Valley is one massive shopping and entertainment center. Those interested in San Diego's culture should check out Mission Trails Regional Park in Tierrasanta. And those interested in Asian culture may want to swing by Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa for some authentic restaurants and shops.

Western

Western San Diego is a little bit of everything, from the live music madness of Ray Street in North Park (which also has plenty of other live music in the form of Birch North Park Theater and Clare De Lune). Ocean Beach is seaside and hip; expect lots of independent businesses here. Old Town is a little less hip and a little more, well, old. Many of the cultural/historic attractions of San Diego are here, from Junipero Serra Mission to Whaley House to Mason Street School.

Central

This is San Diego's downtown and its skyline is nothing like Los Angeles's. Indeed, its rather smaller, rather more eclectic buildings have spurred comparisons with Seattle ? if Seattle were a Mediterranean city. and home to one of its most distinctive areas, the Gaslamp Quarter. Today, the Gaslamp, as well as preserving the lights for which it is named, has plenty of eateries, shops, and nightclubs, as well as some massive events. Little Italy likewise is home to any number of unique events.

Other Things to Know

San Diego is not so mellow that its streets are never congested with traffic, but there are three interstates you can use to travel in and through the city efficiently - I-5, I-8 and I-15. Freeways branch off of these frequently - most attractions are quickly accessible by car.

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Carlsbad Carlsbad Carlsbad
Southern CaliforniaCarlsbad is known as "The Village by the Sea," due to its proximity to the glistening Pacific Ocean. There is a European feel to the town where visitors can enjoy a variety of unique events and activities. Yes, I’d like to receive regular email updates on activities, events, deals and more from Visit Carlsbad!
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Temecula Valley Temecula Valley Temecula Valley
Southern CaliforniaThe vineyards of California have produced some of the best wines the world over. A sampling at a local winery in Stockton is a great way to experience what is special about this beautiful part of California.
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Oceanside Oceanside Oceanside
Oceanside is a classic California beach community with its warm sandy beaches, historic wooden pier and Cape Cod-style harbor village complete with unlimited water sports and recreation. Offering a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle, visitors still experience the casual spirit that made Southern California’s beach culture legendary.
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